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Best Cities in New England: Top Stories in RI in 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012


Which New England cities took top honors in GoLocal's first ranking? Thousands of readers wanted to know.

In April of 2012, GoLocal's new ranking, New England's Best Cities 2012, unveiled the first-ever comprehensive head-to-head comparison of the major cities of New England. It was instantly one of the top-read stories in the history of GoLocal's coverage, being read, shared, and promoted on local sites in cities throughout the region. It continues to do thousands of page views every month--a testimony to our hunger for data and what it means to our daily lives.

Inspired by national rankings from media outlets such as US News & World Report, Forbes, and Business Week, GoLocal compared each state's 5 largest cities, from the region's smallest contender (Rutland, VT) to its largest (Boston, MA) in 5 general areas: Economics/Prosperity, Safety, Culture, Health, and Overall Quality of Life. With metrics ranging from median household income, unemployment, school quality and crime rates to arts-related employment, wifi hotspots and walkability among others, GoLocal's propietary formula quantified the many qualities that go into a city's fabric (for details on the methodology, go here).

The Cities

GoLocal's analysis assessed the 5 largest cities in each New England state:

Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury
Maine: Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, South Portland, Auburn
Massachusetts: Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge
New Hampshire: Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Rochester
Rhode Island: Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, East Providence
Vermont: Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Colchester, Rutland

The Winners in 2012

The Top New England City for 2012 was Cambridge, MA, followed by South Burlington, VT, at #2, and South Portland, ME, at #3. Vermont dominated the Top 10 in 2012, with 4 cities. Maine and Massachusetts each had 2 cities in the Top 10. Connecticut had Stamford at #7, and New Hampshire had Concord at #9. Rhode Island's highest-placing city was Cranston, at #14, followed by Warwick at #15.

To see how all 30 cities fared in the 2012 Best Cities ranking, go here.


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